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Cranberry bank executive embraced adventures

| Friday, Feb. 13, 2009

While overseeing 14 National City bank branches, Charles Larkin was known as a strict supervisor, but he was admired.

"The men and women Chuck supervised admired his grasp of all phases of community banking," said his wife, Joan Zilavy Larkin. "He knew what had to be done, and they respected his judgment."

Charles Robert Larkin of Cranberry, a senior vice president at National City, died of complications after surgery on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 2009, in UPMC St. Margaret. He was 58.

His wife, who married Mr. Larkin in 1988, recalled a man who enjoyed taking a few risks outside the office. She talked of a trip they made about three years ago to the Wright Brothers National Memorial in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

"He was so impressed with the contributions the Wright brothers made to flying, he decided to take flying lessons at the Zelienople Airport," she said. "Eventually, he bought his own plane and wanted me to go flying with him. Although I turned him down, several of the people in his office took the offer."

Mr. Larkin also loved motorcycles.

"He bought his first Harley-Davidson and rode all the way to Boston to see his sister," his wife said. "Once again, I turned down the offer to go riding."

Mr. Larkin, who was raised in Penn Hills, was one of four of Charles Robert and Margie McDonough Larkin.

In 1968, after graduating from Penn Hills High School, Mr. Larkin attended West Virginia University in Morgantown.

As a salesman for NCR, Mr. Larkin traveled extensively promoting the company's data processing service.

"The traveling and contacts he made while employed at NCR helped Chuck to start his banking career with what was then Equibank," Mrs. Larkin said.

She recalled the events leading up to their marriage. "We met at an event in Carnegie. I immediately realized that Chuck was a loving and caring man.

"In the years of our marriage, he cared for his ailing mother and loved my son."

Mr. Larkin formerly sang with the choir at St. Matthias Catholic Church in Evans City. As a member of the diocesan chorus, he traveled to Rome to sing for Pope John Paul II.

"He even took my son with him," Mrs. Larkin said.

He also used his singing skills to entertain at employee functions by dressing like Elvis Presley and doing a respectable impersonation, his wife said.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Larkin is survived by a son, Justin E. Rausch of Los Angeles; a brother, James C. Larkin, of Fairfax, Va.; and two sisters, Debbie Larkin of Boston, and Colleen Babineau of Los Angeles.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. today at Glenn-Kildoo Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Cranberry, 130 Wisconsin Ave.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Gregory Catholic Church, 2 West Beaver St., Zelienople.

Interment will follow in Christ Our Redeemer Cemetery, Ross.

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